Central Evaluation of Agri-Environmental Indicators

The sustainability of agriculture is determined on the basis of various agri-environmental indicators. Agroscope is responsible for method development as well as for the central analysis of agri-environmental indicators.

Based on the ‘Ordinance concerning the Evaluation of the Sustainability of Agriculture' (SR 919.118), the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) carries out monitoring to determine the impact of agriculture on the environment, as well as to highlight problem areas, or recognise them in a timely fashion.

The results of the AEM serve as a knowledge basis for policy-makers, as information for the public, and as a basis of comparison with other countries.

The agri-environmental indicators (AEI's) form the basis for the AEM. The AEI's are divided among the following subject areas (see diagram below):

  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Soil
  • Energy
  • Climate
  • Water
  • Biodiversity/Landscape 

Taking agricultural management into account, the AEI's allow an ecological evaluation of matter and energy turnover, emissions of environmentally hazardous substances, soil productivity, biodiversity, and further impacts on the environment.

Overview of the Agri-Environmental Indicators

The AEI's are published as key topics in the FOAG Agricultural Report in four-yearly cycles in each case.

AEI Competence Centre

As an AEI Competence Centre, Agroscope is responsible for method development and the central analysis of the AEI's (SAEDN).

Swiss agri-environmental data network (SAEDN)

AUI Methoden_e

Since 2009, relevant data has been recorded, collected and analysed in a farm network for the AEI's. This allows us to make statements regarding the impact of agriculture on the environment at both farm and regional level. The data is recorded by the farmers in AGRO-TECH, a software program adapted for the SAEDN. The farm tax consultants (Treuhänder), joined together in the ‘Treuland' tax consultancy association, are the direct contact partners for the farmers. The tax consultants pass on the data gathered by the farmers to the AEI Competence Centre in an anonymised form. In order to keep the acquisition effort as low as possible for the farmers, only data which must in any case be gathered for the Proof of Ecological Performance (PEP) and within the scope of the Veterinary Medicine Ordinance is to be gathered for the SAEDN in the first instance.

At present, approximately 300 farms take part in the SAEDN, but the number of farms is to be increased in stages over the next few years.


Participation in the SAEDN

Are you a farm manager who would like to take part in the SAEDN? Then get in touch directly with your tax consultancy agency, or visit:

SAEDN Partners

  • The farmers of the SAEDN farm network
  • The tax-consultancy agencies (Treuland association)
  • Agridea (owner of AGRO-TECH)